MICHAEL SLADE + KIMBERLY ANDERSON /
Utah Bigfoot: Encounters Within the Unknown
July 19 - October 24, 2014
The Utah Bigfoot project compiles stories and experiences from people who have had a significant event happen to them within the borders of the unexplained. Their written narratives are paired with photographs of the landscape in which the event occurred. If someone has had such a powerful experience with something they can only explain by putting it into the ‘Bigfoot’ box, takes the time to actually write their narrative down and shares it with either a small audience, or the world, then that story can become part of the Utah Bigfoot project. There are literally hundreds of anecdotal experiences. This project is limited to those experiences where the individual has had a direct visual sighting and claims with veracity exactly what they saw.
Header image: Sundance Canyon, Michael Slade + Kimberly Anderson
There is an interesting place in the universe where things are not fully explained. We can’t apply the scientific method in that place. We can’t fully understand what happens in that place. We are sometimes really kind of afraid of that place. That place, however, has a lot of really interesting things happening inside of it. Many Native American cultures have a very significant place in their culture for the unexplained. Having more acceptance towards things that we can’t easily put into a box with a label seems pretty interesting. Why don’t we embrace the idea of the unexplained with more excitement and allow it to exist within our lives?
The idea that one can experience something so profound, so earth-shattering and something that will change every pre-conceived notion you once had about the natural world and want to share it is not new. Sharing it in the face of ridicule and in spite of mockery and derision from friends and strangers alike must mean that the individual took the experience very seriously. There is no hunt for Bigfoot in this project. This project is all about sharing the human experience and the landscape in which the experience occurred. If your notion of what is real and what is not is challenged, if the space that you allocate the unexplained is broadened, then the project is succeeding as intended.
About the Artists
Michael Slade and Kimberly Anderson share a background in documentary photography, storytelling, history and exploring areas that most would ignore. This unique skillset allows various projects to be approached in a depth and breadth that is hard to achieve with image-making alone. The intersection of personal narrative, natural history and landscape can provide some interesting results. Each brings different talents at different points in the project and where one leaves off the other can move the project further.
A 20-year project has just been published on Utah’s Great Salt Lake. This exhibit at the Granary Arts Center represents the first time the Utah Bigfoot work has been shown.They have advanced degrees from USU and over 25 years of work experience both nationally and internationally. Photographs are in various personal, commercial and institutional collections worldwide. www.utahbigfoot.blogspot.com